Symptoms of stage 4 melanoma include ulceration of the tumors that appear on the skin and tumors that measure more than 4 millimeters deep, according to Healthline. However, doctors base a diagnosis of stage 4 melanoma not only on the condition of skin tumors, but also where the cancer has spread.
Ulceration of a melanoma means that it has developed a break in the skin, according to Healtline. However, this particular symptom may not be a sign of stage 4 melanoma, because ulceration can develop as early as stage 1. Also, some people with stage 4 melanoma do not develop ulcerations at all. Regardless of when the ulceration develops, anyone experiencing ulceration of a tumor usually faces a worse prognosis than a person who has not developed the condition.
Another common symptom of stage 4 melanoma is a condition called tumor matting, states Healthline. When melanoma spreads to a person's lymph nodes, the nodes become matted together. Physicians typically confirm this condition by touch, as the lymph nodes become hard to the touch and feel lumpy. Often, this may be the first sign that a person has progressed to stage 4 melanoma. However, people experience symptoms differently, and the symptoms one person experiences may not necessarily occur in another person.